Sport in Namibia

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View of Sam Nujoma Stadium before a Namibia and South Africa U-20 game in March 2008

The principal sports in Namibia are football, rugby union, cricket, golf and fishing. Netball, boxing and athletics are also popular as well. The home stadium for all national teams is Independence Stadium in Windhoek, while Sam Nujoma Stadium in Katutura is also occasionally used.

Cricket in Namibia[edit]

The history of cricket in Namibia is closely linked with South African cricket. After independence, the newly formed Namibian Cricket Board set about developing the game throughout the country, and also arranged visits from various English county teams and The Netherlands. They were granted associate membership of the ICC in 1992. Namibia played six matches in the 2003 World Cup and lost all of them. However they had a credible match against England where they were ahead of the English under the Duckworth-Lewis method for twelve overs and Jan Berrie Burger almost mastered an upset with 85 of 86 balls. Rudi van Vuuren took 5 wickets, and later went on to feature in the Rugby World Cup for Namibia that same year. Namibia is currently playing in the ICC world T20 qualifiers in Ireland and Scotland to play in the 2016 World T20 in India.

World Cup[edit]

  • 1975 to 1992 inclusive: Not eligible - Not an ICC member
  • 1996: Did not qualify
  • 1999: Did not qualify
  • 2003: First round
  • 2007: Did not qualify

Development Programs[edit]

Except for a few cases, cricket in Namibia has been confined to the Afrikaans and German speaking populations, with the indigenous Africans who constitute 80% of the national population showing hardly any interest.

Football in Namibia[edit]

Main article: Football in Namibia

Football in Namibia is governed by the Namibia Football Association. The Namibia Premier League is the main domestic league. The Namibia national football team has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, but has twice been runner up in the COSAFA Cup. They have qualified for two African Cups of Nations, in 1998, where they lost in the first round, and the 2008 edition.

Rugby Union in Namibia[edit]

National rugby sevens team

Rugby union was introduced to Namibia from South Africa in 1916. The main governing body today is the Namibia Rugby Union.

The Namibian national team are commonly known as the Welwitschia. They participate frequently at the World Cup.

Until independence, players for Namibia were also eligible to represent South Africa with Namibian born Springboks including Jan Ellis and, more recently, Percy Montgomery. Various players pursue their rugby careers in South Africa and in a number of European countries.

Golf in Namibia[edit]

Main article: Golf in Namibia

The most prominent Namibian golfer is Trevor Dodds. The most prominent golf course is Rossmund Desert Golf Course in Swakopmund.

Athletics in Namibia[edit]

Main article: Athletics in Namibia

The most prominent Namibian athlete, and one of the most prominent people in general, is the former sprinter Frankie Fredericks. He is the first and so far only Olympic medalist from the country, and won four Olympic silver medals in total. He also became world champion in 1993 and won an additional three silver medal at the World Championships, all in the 200 metres event. He holds the African record in this event with 19.68 seconds, and held the African record in 100 metres until May 2006.

Other prominent athletes include middle distance runner Agnes Samaria and long-distance runner Luketz Swartbooi.

Boxing in Namibia[edit]

Main article: Boxing in Namibia

There have been several successful Namibian boxers, including Japhet Uutoni (winner of gold medal at 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2006 African Boxing championships), Paulus Ambunda (represented his country at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens), Paulus Moses, Harry Simon and Joseph Jermia (represented his country at the 2004 Summer Olympics as well as winning a bronze medal in the 48 kg weight class in the 2003 All-Africa Games. In March 2008, Namibia hosted the final round of qualifying for the continental tournament of boxing at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

[1] As Japhet Uutoni had already qualified for the 2008 Olympics by winning his class in the first round of qualifiers, 2 other Namibian boxers also qualified (Mujandjae Kasuto and Julius Indongo). In January 2009, Paulus Moses defeated Yusuke Kobori of Japan to win the WBA lightweight title.[2]

Basketball in Namibia[edit]

Namibia waits for its first qualification for the FIBA Africa Championship. Its basketball federation cooperates with the German federation.[3]

Lawn Bowls in Namibia[edit]

Lawn bowls was one of the first sport codes in Namibia to produce a world champion. Douw Calitz was the winner of this title when he emerged victor of the World Champion of Champions tournament in 2003 in Moama, Australia. Some of the major national tournaments include the annual National League, as well as the annual Namibia National Championships. In 2013, Namibia played host to the African States Tournament, a competition featuring seven countries from all over Africa. The National men's side is currently ranked 11th in the world.